When could Dan Walker start work on Channel 5 news and who is likely to replace him on BBC Breakfast?

a close up of BBC presenter Dan Walker with a white border

It was a shock to BBC Breakfast fans when veteran presenter Dan Walker announced his departure from the morning show after six years. Here's what he's up to next and the candidate likely to replace him.

He's the perky presenter we're used to waking up to on our screens in the mornings. But sadly news presenter Dan Walker has quit BBC Breakfast and is now headed for pastures new - taking his charm to a different broadcasting channel completely.

The Strictly Come Dancing 2021 contestant officially left the BBC Breakfast sofa for good in mid May. Though he's yet to take up his new position at rival Channel 5 news. It's thought that Dan Walker's wife and kids may be a factor behind the job change - though the dad-of-three has not confirmed as such yet. We share details of his likely new start date and Breakfast replacement.

When could Dan Walker start at Channel 5 news?

Though no official start date has been confirmed, its thought that Dan Walker will start at Channel 5 news within the next few weeks. This is based on the presenter having shared with fans a behind-the-scenes snap of him at the new studio on May 23. Dan has also officially left BBC Breakfast now too - presenting his last show on May 17, 2022.

Sharing a black and white photo of him looking the part online, Dan wrote: "I had a little look around my new TV home today. They all seem lovely at 5 News." Dan will be on screens to present the Channel 5 news from 5pm, Monday to Friday. He'll take over as lead anchor from Sian Williams - a former BBC Breakfast colleague - who announced she was stepping down in early March 2022.

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Having been at Breakfast for 6 years, Dan has made some firm friends whilst presenting the show. And he shared that he would miss his colleagues - including his sofa mate Sally Nugent.

"It's always been a real privilege working with you," he told his co-host. "Both when you were working there in sport and sat here now.

"It's been a long time hasn't it," replied Sally. To which Dan added: "Well, we've known each other for 20 odd years. I'll miss you very much"

The presenter also praised the "team here at Breakfast" who he deemed "fantastic as well".

Why did Dan Walker leave BBC Breakfast?

The 45-year-old presenter has not revealed his reasons for leaving. But he has said that the move to Channel 5 promised "big ambitions, with big plans" - making it an offer he couldn't refuse.

"I'm going to go and do the news on Channel 5," he told BBC Breakfast viewers in April. "But also make loads of new really exciting programmes. It's a fantastic opportunity and new challenges in life are always good. And if you can grab them and do them to the best of your ability, you see what happens next don't you."

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Following his announcement, fans and friends flooded his Twitter with messages of congratulations. Many of his Breakfast colleagues were quick to congratulate and commiserate his new appointment. The programme's weather reporter Carol Kirkwood wrote "Daaaaannnn…. Congratulations! Wishing you every success… but we will miss you xx".

Ex-Strictly star Oti Mabuse was another to wish the former Strictly contestant well. "Omgggggg @mrdanwalker wow 🤩 congratulations on your new adventure," she tweeted.

Some reacting to the news on Twitter have speculated that the decision might have been based on a higher salary. And additionally an easier work/life balance - an afternoon start rather than his previous wake up call of 4am. Which in turn could mean more time with his family.

"Love everyone with the snarky comments about him doing it for the money," wrote one Twitter user. "Like y’all wouldn’t happily skip off to a new job who were offering more dosh and with better hours!"

Ex-colleague Louise Minchin who left Breakfast in September 2021 - shared her public congratulations. And added that he "won't miss the early alarm calls". To which Dan retweeted and replied "Ah... the magical world of lie-ins". This somewhat suggests he'll be enjoying the extra time in bed in the mornings.

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Speaking on BBC Breakfast of the news the day after his announcement, he shared that it had been "a massive decision for me because I love BBC Breakfast".

"I love working alongside Sally and I love the team there," he added. "But Channel 5 came with big ambitions, with big plans. And I don't think opportunities like this come around very often. And I can't wait."

Dan further thanked viewers for the "very nice, kind messages," he had received since the announcement broke.

Who is likely to replace Dan Walker on BBC Breakfast?

The BBC have not confirmed who will replace Dan Walker on BBC Breakfast. However it is speculated that fellow BBC Breakfast presenter Jon Kay could be a candidate for the role. He joined the team in 2010 and has stepped in as cover when Dan or Charlie Stayt are away.

Jon seemingly made light of the fact he could replace Dan on Twitter. "That's my job application completed, then..," he wrote, tagging Dan Walker. He shared a clip from a recent news segment that likened him to TV character Alan Partridge, created by Steve Coogan.

One replied: "Hope you do apply Jon, we both enjoy your excellent delivery of the news. You get our vote."

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Most recently Jon filled in for Dan in early March when he was missing from the sofa. And viewers were again quick to share their praise of Jon online then.

"Jon Kay is a great presenter," wrote one Twitter user. Whilst another tweeted "brilliant work from Jon Kay" - following his interview with Transport Secretary Grant Schapps.

Even if Jon does not get the full-time gig it's likely he'll be acting as Dan's temporary replacement whilst his role is filled. On his BBC bio page it reads: "Jon covers for Dan and Charlie when they need a lie-in. He welcomes the chance to sit down on the Breakfast sofa because he spends most of his time standing-up – as a roving reporter for BBC News."

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Emily Stedman
Features Editor

Emily Stedman is the former Features Editor for GoodTo covering all things TV, entertainment, royal, lifestyle, health and wellbeing. Boasting an encyclopaedic knowledge on all things TV, celebrity and royals, career highlights include working at HELLO! Magazine and as a royal researcher to Diana biographer Andrew Morton on his book Meghan: A Hollywood Princess. In her spare time, Emily can be found eating her way around London, swimming at her local Lido or curled up on the sofa binging the next best Netflix show.